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tv   Americas Newsroom  FOX News  March 18, 2010 9:00am-11:00am EDT

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tomorrow dana is going to be joining us and she will actually join us in today's after the show show. so log on right now. >> brian: she'll spend the night on the couch. >> steve: really? bill: good morning, everybody i rare sigrare sight on capitol minutp minutes you will see aand senat and senate republic into tr into the house chamber i closed door meeting for the health care debate, good morning, we are live in washington, today, there is major momentum-owe health care reform bill and democrats pushing hard to advance the bill and to date, i'm bill hemmer. martha: good morning, bill, good morning, everyone. i amm mul martha maccallum, republican are scheduled to hold a news conference and democrats are behind a closed door meeting of their own with their head vote counter, trying to figure out their numbers, 216 is the
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magic number, for passage, and -- in the house. bill: and, the counter has a big job, by our tally, 219 no, 212 yes, and there is a lot moving beneath the numbers and karl rove is a former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to president george bush and he's also on a book tour right now, and fox news contributor and wrote the book, courage and consequence, and, karl is currently on the tour in houston, texas, this morning, and, karl, good morning to you. down in the lone star state. there are two things we think we know, democrats don't have the votes now and the numbers don't add up, because the cost of the bill, has now been delayed, for two days, and counting. as you see it this morning, where are we headed? >> well, we're in the discussion inside the caucus, they are finish with substantive arguments, and now are making the point we have to do this for the team and have an historic moment and will undermine the presidency of barack obama, if
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we vote it down, and it is better for us to pass this bill, and try and go out and defend it than it is to do nothing, and, we're past the substantive argument part, except for one big issue. and that is, what is the thing going to do to the budget and much will it cost and we are waiting on cbo and when we get cbo, remember they can tilt it by how they write the bill and documents that go into cbo, for example, cbo's estimate on the senate bill previously double counted payments into social security, as being both for social security benefits and double counted in paying health care benefits and double counted the premium payments for long term care, double count it as paying for long term entitlement and at the same time for health care expenses and then kept $371 million billion, the doc fix out of the bill altogether, because they couldn't make it add up and
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one of the reasons it has taken two weeks, they are trying to accommodate all the demands on the bill, and, at the same time, still at the end of the day, with all of the funny money bernie madoff-style tricks, say it will be in the black. which is -- it is clearly not. bill: so our viewers are clear, on this, once we get the costs of the bill, the clock starts running and we believe, 72 hours later, essentially, three days, there could be a vote, that takes place on the floor of the house and the -- the republicans are filing into the closed door meeting and this is all members of the house, on the republican side, and all members of the senate, meeting and if you were in that room, what advice do you give them, as for what the message will be in about 30 minutes when they go before the microphone, karl? >> well, i think, an important message was, an important clue of what they ought to say was delivered in the bret baier interview. he asked the president a couple of interesting questions and the president gave an answer, saying, look, it will be a vote, in the house, between tough insurance reform, and, the status quo.
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the president has a way of routinely adescribing to his political opponents, positions and motivation they don't have and the republicans have to say, this is a choice between a bad bill and common sense reforms we are advocating and they don't want to be painted into the advocates of the status quo and the american people are, frankly, inclined to believe the republicans now, and have a good idea, they are willing to offer on the health care issue, and, they have to call the president's bluff, delivered last night in bret baier's piece, that this was all about, you have to have this bill or you get nothing. you get the status quo, which republicans clearly said is not acceptable to them. bill: we're going to play a little bit of the interview that aired last night in a matter of minutes here. but, there is a phrase in washington, called deem and pass and sounds like a parliamentarian move and two days ago the president said years from now nobody will remember the procedure, if,
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however, you think of the way the country has been focused on the 2008, the way they seem to be so dialed in, would you agree with that statement, and, what would be the react across the country, if that were to go through? >> i don't agree with that statement, i think the white house is consistently underestimated the interest of the american people in this bill and, you step back and look at it, a pretty remarkable year. a year ago by march, roughly 2-1 the american people were in favor of health care reform and the president made i think 54, 55 speeches in the year since, and, public opinion flipped, so that today, is roughly, say, 38 in favor, 60% opposed to this, to the particular bill that is before congress, today. and, you know, the amazing thing is that is all largely self-educated and not like the opponents of the bill have dominate the public states and the president and his allies in congress have and so i do think when people, if it passes, when people look at it they will be upset, with -- if they think
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there were shenanigans and pass it and they feel it based on the passage of the senate bill, which had, all of these bribes and special interest provision and giveaways to the president's political allies and if they turn around in the house do what they are trying to do which is, if you are -- read the news reports the leadership is obvious, they say, look we want to use the maneuver in order to keep some of our more vulnerable democrats. >> but -- >> vote for the bill and yet still be able to pass it and it ain't gonna work and... people didn't pay a lot of attention to this. bill: they may say it publicly and when you see the democrats going into their own meeting in a matter of minutes you have to tap in what the debate is inside the room, too. you can no think all democrats are willing to go that route. and not have what has been called an up-or-down vote. >> members like jason altmire, has a problem with the shenanigans and deem and pass sounds look a parliamentary
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maneuver, guess what, bill, it is and some of these members will be uncomfortable with it. the democrats have a problem, how much will it cost and will it end with a deficit and -- add to the deficit, does it have low life medicin -- and will it pass, which involves the senate and will they bribe their way to passage and the house, are these things going to work out. bill: in houston, texas, we'll revisit the interview with bret, in a few minutes with bret and president obama and also, coming up we expect to hear from republican leadership and democratic leadership, in the debate, over the past year. this is perhaps the most critical day we have seen, just yet. and who knows what will happen the next couple of hours, back there in a moment, martha, with more. martha: in reality it has been a year of deadlines, so far for health care and for the white house. today's actually the day that
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president obama wanted to have a vote on his signature bill but the plans changed as we all know and there were a lot of other target dates, as we have gone along that road. take a listen: >> president barack obama: our goal will be to enact comprehensive health care reform by the end of this year. that is our commitment. that is our goal. should instead provide the urgency for both the house and the senate to finish their critical work on health reform. before the august recess. we are going to get this done. we will reform health care. it will happen, this year. i am absolutely convinced of that. if you are willing to speak out, strongly, on behalf of the things you care about, and what you see, each and every day, as you are serving patients across the country, i'm confident, we are going to get health reform passed this year. >> the president leaves for indonesia and australia on march 18. and we believe that -- i believe that, based on conversations i have had, in the building, that
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we are on schedule to get this through the house, by then. martha: all right, by then. that is the latest, the deadlines, and now, there are still holdouts, the president and leading democrats are using this week to do everything in their power in the capitol hill building, to get everybody on board and we have to wait now until the actual vote which could, possibly, come this weekend. to see if the massive piece of legislation gets through, bill. bill: "fox news alert," now, new numbers on the economy. jobless claims, out, moments ago. 457,000 americans filing for first time unemployment benefits. nearly half a million more people per week depending on government assistance to help get them by and the numbers down slightly from a week ago, but today's new number also shows there are yet to be strong signals, that companies are making new hires and wall street reacts on that in 20 minutes. martha: and minutes from now, the woman who calls herself
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jihad jane is set to appear in a courthouse in philadelphia and will be arraigned on a slew of charges, that she plotted to kill a swedish cartoonist who offended muslims and the philadelphia enquirer reporting colleen larose confessed to federal agents about her role, after he was arrested last fall, laura ingle is outside the courthouse in philly and what are we hearing about the alleged confession. >> reporter: brand new news this morning, this alleged confession, happened when she was taken into custody, back in october, of 2009. but, we're not hearing much es, other than that there was -- else, other than a possible confession and we contacted the u.s. attorney's office, this morning for comment, no huge surprise, they offered us no comment on the confession. two source close to the case, who obviously want to be unnamed, say that colleen la rose confessed to fbi agents when he was busted at the philadelphia airport, where she had been returning from a trip to london, and he was actually
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taken into custody on a passport fraud charge and agents have been watching her closely. they have been monitoring her on-line correspondence. they have been tracking her movements, they knew that she was overseas and she reportedly had been hooking up with her coconspirators in ireland, to discuss this plot to kill the swedish cartoonist. as far as the ash ledlleged conn we are waiting to find out more details about that today. martha: thank you very much, laura ingle in philadelphia. bill: dozens of passengers thrown from their seats after a bus plows through a red light, a major accident with dramatic video from inside the bus, you'll see it play out. martha: we're getting closer, folks, we believe to a vote that could pass one of the most sweeping legislations in the country's history and bret baier got an exclusive interview. it was quite a back and forth and we want to show you more of that and go through that with karl rove who will join us again in three minutes to break down what the president said, and what his responses mean, to what bret asked him, we'll be right back. i have astigmatism.
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martha: we are in the center of the action here this morning in washington, d.c., and, on the left hand side of your screen, you see where the g.o.p. is gathering to meet behind the closed doors there and they are trying to figure out what they'll do, if the bill passes, and what procedural things they may need to do, or could do, on their side of the aisle, and on the other side the big closed doors there is where the democrats are meeting this morning, and, it could be the biggest moment, really, of the careers of so many of our legislators on capitol hill behind bill and i this morning, we'll watch those doors and, as soon as they come out to make those statement we'll bring it to you live and we're close to finding out exactly how much the latest version of the president's health care reform will cost, now, once the cbo, you have heard the phrase a lot, the congressional budget office, they are crunching the numbers now and once they announce the latest price tag, after that, the bill will go on-line, as you heard the president say last night when he spoke with bret, and 72 hours, the wheels are in
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motion for during that period, as everybody gets a chance to look over that bill. and, look over the cbo numbers, and the vote could come as early as this week end. and bret baier, sat down with president obama, last evening, and, he asked the president what he thinks about the way this process has gone. >> by the time the vote has taken place, not only i will know what is in it, you will know what is in it because it will be posted and everybody will be available to evaluate it on the merits. but here's the thing, bret. i mean, the reason that i think this conversation ends up being a little frustrating, is because the focus, entirely, is on washington process, and yes, i have said, that is an ugly process, and it was ugly when republicans were in charge and it was ugly when democrats were in charge. martha: all right, so, karl rove is back with us now, he's of course the former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to president george w. bush. karl, good morning, good to have you back. >> thanks for having me, martha.
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martha: you know, karl, it is -- just even the top of that sound bite when you listen to what the president says, he says, don't worry, because i'll know what is in the bill as soon as it's and you will know what is in the bill, and i think that will sit funny with all the people, we'll have it and then have a whole 2 hours to check it out. >> remember it will be a 3,000 page bill and stuff will be hidden in that bill in language we don't fully understand, ordinary people could read it and not really understand the ramifications and i would remind you, for example, that while we have understood about gatorade, the carve out, if you had a medicare advantage policy and live in florida, you don't get cut 20% like everybody else in the country and it took several days to find out there was language written in there that also protected people who lived in certain parts of new jersey, and new york. i mean, it took -- we were finding days and days and days after the bill passed the senate and people had the language, we were finding out, mutual of
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omaha's medigap policies were treat differently than any others and blue cross of michigan was treat in a different way than every other blue cross in the country, except blue cross of nebraska and it took days, the funny provision had to do with hospital construction was an earmark, if you will, to -- for chris dodd's connecticut medical and dental school and there will be goofy things in the, i love how the president said we'll have many days to look at it, they'll rush it out and throw it up over the weekend and hope everybody votes for it, or the american people, you are confused enough that you stand by on the sidelines. martha: let's look at another piece of bret's interview with the president, last night. >> president barack obama: i don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the house or the senate. what i -- >> support this, this measure -- >> president barack obama: what i can tell you is, is that the vote that is taken in the house,
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will be a vote for health care reform, and, if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. and i don't think we should pretend to the wise. >> but, mr. president, this monday -- >> president barack obama: bret, let me finish, if they don't and vote against it they will be voting against health care reform and they will be voting in favor of the status quo. so, washington, gets very concerned about these procedural issues in congress. this is always an issue that is -- whether republicans are in charge or democrats are in charge... martha: so, karl, clearly the president wants to keep it simple. he's saying, if you vote for my bill, you kind of -- everything that is in there, you are voting in favor of health care reform and a lot of folks in the country are in favor of health care reform and are not so sure th they are in favor of the bill. >> the less attractive sides of a very attractive political personality in president obama. first of all, he ascribes to his opponent motives they don't have
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and if you vote no on the bill you are in favor of the status quo and the republicans laid out many options and many alternatives and many proposals that they would like to take the country in the direction of and the second thing is, he's sort of, he sounds like he's not part of the process. if he thinks that all of this, this ugly process, as he calls it, is ugly, then he has a responsibility to say, don't be using that deem and pass -- deeming motion, don't be using the slaughter rule, straight up or down. you know, it is just... the president has a responsibility to be more engaged on this, and he doesn't do petulant well, either, and he has an enormously positive charismatic personality but last night with bret he sounded petulant, not positive. martha: you talk about the funding for all of this, karl, and, bret tried to pin him down on a number of different things, some of which you mentioned, the florida deal, the connecticut deal, brought up specifically. you know, and the president suggested at one point, he said, you know, any sort of help that
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we might give back to the states for the cuts they might experience in medicare, if we do it, we'll do it across the board and that begs the question, if it is built on $500 billion in cuts to medicare, and you give back some to every, single state so it doesn't hurt them so badly, how will you pay for it? >> well, you are right. bret never got a straight answer, it is not just louisiana which he said, oh, yeah, we'll have the special treatment for louisiana and special treatment for hawaii, and. martha: natural disaster -- >> and what about connecticut, and massachusetts and vermont? i mean, they got special deals and second of all, you are right. and this is the big issue, this thing is predicated on bernie madoff-style financing. they double-count social security revenues, they double-count a new entitlement revenue for long term care, and they take the doc fix, $371 billion and put it to the side and the cbo said, after all of those shenanigans it is $100 billion in the black. and it is really $460 billion in the red. and, what did we hear from the
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president, in his interview with bret baier? it would save the -- reduce the deficit, by a trillion dollars. i mean, please. who is he kidding? you do all the kind of shenanigans they'll do and the cbo says after you do all of those shenanigans and hide the billions of dollars in red ink, there is $100 billion in black ink and the president sat there with a straight face and said the bill will save us a trillion dollars. it is not plausible. >> all right, karl, thank you so much, karl rove, the author of "courage and consequences" we have breaking news and it will be of big interest to you on this front, stupid. -- plank plank and, pa paef paef the cost of the bill, fox news confirm the cost of the health care plan on the table is $940 billion over ten years, and that is not quite a trillion, as you know, but over the past several days, many of the estimates, coming over that
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number, and, democrats were keen on getting it below $1 trillion and also, talks about reducing the deficit over a period of ten years, and, compares that to reducing the deficit over a period of 20 years. and the reason this is important, is, because the cost has been delayed by two days, as they crunch the numbers on the hill behind us here in washington. and, now, we understand, democrats in the house and senate, especially on the house side will get together later today, noon eastern time, and, after that meeting, we believe, they will forward this bill, that is now given a price tag. and, once that is done, the clock will start running and we are about three days away from the potential -- the vote on the floor of the house, juan williams, news analyst and a fox news contributor with us hear in washington, good early morning to you. >> good morning. bill: is it enough to put it over the top? what do you thing of the fiscal conservatives hope to democrat side. >> this is really, important, this is, we talk about deal breakers and this is a deal maker for a lot of democrats who have been concerned about the deficit. look at the poll numbers and the
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response from independents, in terms of the electorate, their principal concern has been, it will bankrupt us and will bankrupt future generation and is potentially going to be something that causes taxes to be raised and you can't have an entitlement without properly funding it and, therefore it is all a farce, but here comes the cbo this morning, to reassure those independents and by extension, those democrats that have been on the finance because they are deficit hawks, to say -- and i'm reading it here from the news report, it says, it will cost $940 billion over the next ten years and bill trim the federal deficit by $130 billion in the first ten years and 1.2 trillion, in the second ten years. bill: 20 years out and you lived in washington a long time. do you believe that. >> i don't know how to believe it, because i don't understand some of these numbers. for example, martha was having a discussion with karl, about the president's response, to the idea there was going to be savings in the package that would extend the life of medicare and as you know the argument has been he is double
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counting these things because he wants to apply it to other programs and the president, yesterday, said, in fact they will be cut in terms of what medicare gives to the insurance companies, and, it will extend the life of medicare by 7 but the big fix for medicare would have to come down the line. bill: i want to get back to karl rove in a moment, when you look at these numbers, and you analyze what the -- they are trying to put together, the cuts in medicare. washington never cut medicare. >> correct. bill: what makes you think they'll do it now. >> president bush tried to reform social security. and just the idea of privatizing and putting cuts in place, proved to be kryptonite to the body politic. they cannot handle it and similarly you have to wonder now the biggest opposition to president obama's bill, comes from seniors. why? because seniors are worried about cuts in medicare spending. bill: seniors vote, too. >> they vote and give money and pay attention. bill: juan, hang on one moment, martha. martha: let's bring karl rove back in, we are glad you are still around and we want your response to this and you said
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moments ago, when talking to bill the argument went past substance and now is about the presidency and the success of the obama presidency and that is where he's ashes peeling to people but if the cbo comes under and is troublesome, it could cause problems. is this a troublesome number. >> it is a good number, under a trillion dollars, roughly the same top line number on the senate bill before but the key will be in the details, are they double counting the social security pay payroll tax they so occurring as a result of people losing their coverage, and, their employers giving them additional pay, and in lieu of health care coverage. are they double-counting the so-called class premiums, this is the new entitlement program for long term care in which, in the previous version they wrote it in such a way the cbo had the score, the premium payments would go to the cost of the current health care. and where is the doc fix in all of this? everybody pretty much agrees the cost of the doc fix, for medicare the next decade will be roughly, $371 billion, in the
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previous version and what they said is we will not include that in the bill an ignore it and pretend like that huge pile of red stuff is not a problem for us. and, then, the other kind of -- what other tricks do they have in order to keep the total amount of the money at 940 and to keep the so-called deficit reduction number at 130. it was 110, i believe in the previous version and if you -- for example, $52 billion in payroll taxes, for social security, as paying for currently health care expenditures, and, 72 billion dollars worth of premiums for long term care, paying for health care expenses and $456 billion of medicare cuts, as being cuts and paying for medicare expenses, then you can paper up a lot but if you are forced to be straight about it, you are forced to h account for a lot of red ink.
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martha: and the assumption employers will give money back to their employees they no longer have to spend on health care premiums is a huge assumption to make in any business. >> in fact it is even more than that, the assumption is that they will be too expensive to provide health care coverage for their employees. so they will dump the coverage, pay a fine and turn around and give the employees the exact same amount of money they would otherwise have to spend on health care. in order to give them bigger paychecks and, because of that, they will pay additional income taxes, and additional payroll taxes, and the income taxes will pay for the health care, and the payroll taxes, going into the social security trust fund, will also pay for health care expense, which you cannot spend it on social security and health care and you can't spend it twice. martha: karl rove, thank you, sir. good to have you with us. the author of the new book, "courage and consequence" and we hope to hear more from karl as we hash it out. bill: the numbers are mind-boggling and one final word
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from juan and it appears the calendar puts us here, for final vote on sunday, right? >> sunday, sunday afternoon -- exactly, they were trying for saturday because the president is trying to get out of town and now, looks like sunday. bill: in a word now that we have the number, do you think it pass passes. >> oh, yeah. the president is making the case, it is about his presidency and it hangs in the balance and if he doesn't get it done, immigration done, he doesn't get energy done. >> he made the appeal a week ago to democratic lawmakers -- >> he's making phone calls as we are here, and let me quickly answer something karl said. he said, with regard to the payroll taxes, you know what, employers said all along they want to hire more and can't hire more and i think that is why the president talks about the health care reform, as potentially a boost to the economy, karl talks about the doc fix and the way the democrats in the white house -- and the white house approaches it, it is a separate item and it is not that you will fix medicare and the doctors reimbursement with the bill, but, that is how i think the cbo
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looks at these numbers and comes up with the positive result that will be a boost to those fence-sitting democrats. bill: grab your dictionary and calculator, you will need it over the next three days, minimum, the details are intense. juan, thank you. >> you are welcome, bill. bill: good to see you. >> good to see you in washington. bill: good to be here. martha: there's a lot going on in the big building behind us, awaiting a g.o.p. news conference on the left-hand side of your screen, where the g.o.p. is hunkered down and trying to figure out, if the bill passes, g.o.p. senators are working on procedural ways perhaps they might have in the back pocket to make it very difficult for it to get and further than that, we'll get into that in more detail unleaded a few minutes and tell you what i'm talking about there on the right hand side of your screen, democratic leaders, also, meeting on capitol hill, as they hunker down, for what they hope will be the final days before passage of this huge health care reform bill, we'll be right back. ♪
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bill: we're watching the waters rise and folks living along the swollen rivers in america's midwest fearing the worst, but doing everything they can to get ready for it. all of the melting snow from what has been a nasty winter in parts, could lead to flooding of the -- historic proportion, that is the warning from the dakotas, down to xhodes moines, not good news to a region hit by floodwaters the last several years, listen here, from iowa. >> right now, it is overwhelming. >> with an ice jam, along the
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crow river and under the bridge, it could elevate it and rise it to over a foot, which would bring it over 20 feet. >> i hope everything works out right and it starts to go down. bill: so do we, peter doocy is live in des moines, iowa, a neighborhood devastated by floodwaters two years ago, what is happening in des moines, how are they getting ready. >> reporter: bill, in 2008, the neighborhood was devastated by flooding from the des moines river, which is just about 200 feet over this way, and, in fact, this entire street used to be filled with house and the damage was so bad they had to tear them down and people had to move away and now des moines wants to make sure and do everything in their power to make sure the damage doesn't happen again and the temporary levies are popping up all across town, and, you can see this one here is maude out of dirt and is almost as tall as the stop sign and, pretty much is in the middle of the street and normally people would be driving to and from work, right through here and, for now, the temporary
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levy will be the only thing keeping the nervous neighborhood safe, from those floodwaters, bill? bill: thank you for that, in des moines, iowa. they have been hit hard and we'll watch the waters and hope for the best, in the coming days and weeks, and they have experience out there. hope it pays off, mar this. martha: we'd like to hear from you if you have pictures from the flooding send them to us at and we'll get as many as we can posted on-line and you may see your pictures on air and as always, stay safe if you are making an effort to send us those pictures. appreciate it. bill: in the meantime, we are... waiting, republican house and senate leaders on capitol hill stepped to the microphone and democratic leaders about to do the same for their news conference and will battle for public opinion over the next hour in a while, we are waiting to hear them talk about health care reform, the number that was posted about 20 minutes ago. that news conference, will follow a closed door meeting, with all republican lawmakers.
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james clyburn there, south carolina. waiting for others. earlier here in "america's newsroom" we watched them file in to the house chamber, for that gathering, that was the republican -- the republicans, that was and we'll bring you the news conference, both of them, in fact when they get end way, here in washington, and we'll get the reaction, the debate will continue, looks right now, you could have a vote on the floor of the house, perhaps, maybe sunday afternoon. >> and, that is ex-died by tpede cpo numbers, $940 billion is this number the cbo ascribed to the plan and the cbo works with the numbers given to them, if it cut successfully and, it would be deficit neutral down the road, and, these numbers we have been waiting for all week and republican leaders now are ironing out their game plan, what will they do next as they try to halt the overhaul of health care reform, and, if
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democrats do get the 216 votes they need to clear the house, the g.o.p. maybe looking to use the senate as a roadblock if what we -- is what we are hearing and we want to talk about what the g.o.p.'s next move to be, a former howard dean campaign manager joins me here in the studio and also a fox news contributor and we have kevin madden with us, this morning a former national press secretary, to mitt romney's presidential campaign. joe, let me start with you. what do you think about this idea, a lot of things floating around and we heard yesterday this g.o.p. is trying to figure out, you know what, you will use procedural rules and we have a few rules in our back pocket as well and the senate we'll make things difficult if it passes and gets to us to the senate again. >> they have to be careful. i think you hear a lot of talk about killing, halting, stopping, reform, and any time you get into procedural stuff, the american people can stand it, more gobbledygook mess in washington, why it doesn't work and has a potential to spread to both parties and will hurt them,
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perhaps, more, because we have control, but, they can risk sort of being -- using procedural stuff -- >> how come democrats are not worried about that with the deem and pass or should they be. >> i think they should be, any time you get into the procedural stuff people hate washington more than they hate it and it will not be a good november for democrats and the way they talk about it, it is a procedure to help make the bill better. or -- rather than to kill the bill. i mean, that is what people are -- in the country are like -- they don't want any of that kill stuff, that -- make it not happen and i think the cbo numbers, are actually good for democrats, because, they did come under a trillion dollars, and i agree with karl rove, have to get down to what is really in there, but, that is -- >> an amazing day, kevin, when you start to feel relieved that something cost $940 billion. you wonder how that sits with the american people. and i don't know about the notion that people don't respond well to kill the bill when you
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look at the numbers we have been seeing, how people feel about the health care bill, lately. what do you make of all of this, this morning, kevin. >> look, first, i have to say that on the cost, i disagree with -- it is weird, i disagree with karl rove and joe at the same time, $940 billion, filters back to the american people, very unfavorably and that is a whopping, whopping price tag. and, what has driven public sentiment throughout the process, is the chaotic nature of the way capitol hill handled it it and, voter fatigue is front and concern and that is a big problem and i don't think the cbo numbers will help with the votes on capitol hill, but joe is right. there is a great risk, any time you frame your argument as wanting to kill something or destroy something. but i do think the senate g.o.p. is going to move carefully to align themselves with public sentiment against the costs and against the size and scope of the bill, and, in the end it will to be their political
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benefit. martha: you know, the suggestion, joe, that 40% of what is in this bill could be killed, i'll use this word again, that is the word out there this morning, by procedural objections, in the senate, talking about the delay for the caddy tax, that might not be passable, it treats some groups differently than other groups and at the state level governors like idaho who say, if you pass the bill i'll try and pass something in my state that says it is unconstitutional and you cannot force people to buy health care, a lot of different people working to figure out what to do if it passes. >> well, i think the one thing that you accomplishing with delaying tactics the g.o.p. accomplishes is, to keep the health care debate on the table. length en it out and the longer it goes, the worse. martha: death by a thousand cuts. >> and that could spell big problems to democrats, in november, and we have seen the president repeatedly in leadership, extend the timeline, and if -- for republicans, the
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best thing may be to let -- keep pushing the timeline out. i think democrats, you know, the reason i think the cbo numbers are good for leadership is, there is a real chance -- those numbers are good enough that they will not affect the vote. i agree with kevin on that. and maybe they can get this thing pushed through, dpng on how the g.o.p. delays things, but -- depending on how the g.o.p. delays things and delaying to it kill it will not work. i mean, go in there to try to kill it will not work but to delay it to keep it on the front burner and not let the administration get the jobs and the other things democrats want to get to, could hurt us in november. martha: joe, thank you very much, and kevin, good to have you here as well, thanks, gentlemen, we will see you soon. >> great to be with you. bill: martha, when you talked there, we are hearing from democratic leadership in the house, calling it great news, the initial reaction on the hill and also waiting for republican reaction, all members of the house and senate on the republican side, now, meeting inside closed doors, we're waiting for them to come to the microphone there on the hill as
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well, do not move, we'll be on that for you, in minutes and also, there is this: martha: so much going on, the woman who calls herself jihad jane, you remember her, to be arraigned in court minutes from now and there is a new assessment from the cia chief now on al qaeda. that, after this. [ female announcer ] pure cane sugar and the stevia plant. two of nature's sweetest wonders growing together under the same sun. and now for the first time in new sun crystals, the only 100% natural sweetener made with pure ce sugar and stevia. ♪ finally, all the sweetness of nature and just 5 calories a packet. ♪ nature gave us the recipe; we just gave it a name. new sun crystals all-natural sweetener. two natural wonders. one sweet taste.
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martha: a new look at the economy, jobless claims numbers came out a while ago. 457,000 people filed for first time unemployment benefit, that is a slight drop over the number we saw last week and those initial claims continue to hover above levels that would indicate net job gains, let's see how wall street is reacting this morning, right now the dow is up just shy of ten points at 10,743. bill? bill: martha, al qaeda leaders being driven deeper into hiding thanks to intense pressure from
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the u.s. and stronger coordination with pakistan. that is the latest assessment just out from leon panetta, the head of the cia and with me is a former special assistant to homeland security, now the director of the homeland security policy at george washington university, frank, good morning to you. you agree with leon panetta. >> you know, i do. we have had successes, and, certainly, the predator and drone attacks, have had significant impact, as have other clandestine and covert operations. but, we have been be here before. and we don't want to get overly confident. while they are on the run, they are certainly not out of business an al-qaeda has proven to be a resilient organization. bill: at what point did you think we had driven them below ground and it took a while before they popped their heads up again. >> they scatted and moved to the fatah region. bill: two years ago, 24 months later we have the assessment that he had predator attacks have been devastating based on the reports we are getting and
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the cooperation you are getting on half the pakistanis i mentioned and the concerns are the clean-skinned recruits. what is that? >> al qaeda has long advertised a need to get people and try to identify recruits who don't have known criminal backgrounds, or known affiliations to terrorist organizations. and they can fly under the radar screen and move seamlessly in and out of america and travel overseas, get training and evade authorities. bill: would you put someone like jihad jane, who apparently will be arraigned today and confessed to what she's doing on-line, go into that category. >> absolutely, she's clearly in that category and fits that profile. bill: they are also referred to as, self-enlisted? >> leaderless and self-enlisted. bill: is that the same category or different -- >> they are often in that category but they are not necessarily being actively recruited, by al qaeda. they are going on the internet, reading the propaganda, inspired by al qaeda's ideology and in
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essence are searching out for al qaeda, and the in verse of what we see in terms of active -- >> we are waiting on what happens with the arraignment with jihad jane and one other point you made, the internet is key today in a majority of the web sites, they are written not in arabic but english and we'll pick it up there next time, okay, frank, breaking news again, here's martha. martha: let's head to the capitol, john boehner is speaking right now coming out of the doors of the g.o.p. meeting. >> we'll have an opportunity for the members today to vote. on a straight up or down resolution. about requiring the straight up-or-down vote on the bill, it will be part of our previous questions, and when we get a rule bill up, and, members will have a chance to vote on that. but i can tell you this, that republicans in the house and senate have worked closely together over the last year, and we're going to continue to work closely together and to do everything that we can do, to make sure the bill never, ever, ever passes.
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>> thank you, john, it is clear now that this is no longer an argument between republicans and democrats. it is an argument between democrats and their own constituents. my suspicion is there is not a single congressional district where there is an undecided congressman where this measure is popular. i know the white house believes and, the democratic leadership and the house and senate believe they are smarter than everybody else and they have figured this out, and the american people are just mistaken, and that kind of arrogance usually precedes a big fall. the american people have followed this issue like no other in the time i have been here in congress. they are familiar with the policy. they know it involves cutting medicare about half a trillion dollars. raising taxes by half a trillion dollars. they know it will send individual market insurance premium rates up. and they are appalled as john boehner indicated, by the process. the senate, we saw the
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cornhusker kick back and the louisiana purchase and the gator-aid and most of those special deals will still be in the bill and in the house they suggest they might somehow pass it without anyone voting on it. without anyone voting on it? can you imagine the outrage the american people would feel if that happened? it is not too late. all we need is enough democrats in the house of representatives to do the right thing, for the american people. and they can be spared this big government takeover of 1/6 of our economy. >> question. >> do you feel the bill will be won on the house side and maybe what is the... [inaudible]. >> pretty clear to us that to have the votes, they would have passed the vote in june or july when they wanted to and if they have the votes to pass this, back in september, october, november, december, january, february, and here we are in the middle of march, with a bill that the american people all know about, all the members know about, and, they don't have the votes.
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it is not too late for the american people to continue to speak up, and make it clear, to their members of congress, that they don't like this. i hear them yelling, and i'm sure my colleagues hear them yelling as well, they need to yell a little louder and we can stop this. >> [inaudible] . >> we'll still spend a trillion dollars to impose government-run health care on the american people. the american people want no part of it. so they can tweak this thing and tweak it and still it is a trillion dollars they'll spend and a half of a trillion dollars in tax increases and another half trillion dollars in medicare cuts, not to extend the medicare program, but to fund
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the brand new entitlement program and the american people know we're broke and the last thing we need to do is add more debt on the back of you our kids and grandkids. >> let me say one thing about the "fix it" bill and are trying to get their members to vote on it based on a second "fix it" bill and if that bill somehow made it out of the senate and if i were the house i wouldn't depend on the senate to solve the problem, it doesn't solve the problem, they'll have voted for the kick back, the purchase, and the gator-aid before they voted against the kick back, purchase and gator-aid and by the way, i understand the fix-it bill will not fix it. which i haven't seen it. may or may not deal with the cornhusker matter but i hear it will not deal with any of the others. so they compound the political problem, if they think they can get away with voting against these things after they voted for them. >> last question. >> [inaudible].
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>> what happens when it comes over... what is your plan. >> our plan is for it not to come to the senate and for it to be defeated in the house in the next few days. thank you. martha: thaurmenall right, john saying our plan is to make sure that the bill never, ever, ever passes. were his words. and, you heard strong words from mitch mcconnell and he said, as well, it's not about republicans and democrats in his opinion, he thinks it is about democrats and their own constituents, and he said you show me an undecided democrat, something to that effect and i'll show you somebody whose constituents are against the bill and they -- you know, made it clear that they are not going down, without a very serious fight and john boehner said, look if they have the votes to pass the bill they would have passed it in all the preceding months that got us to this point and here we are, march of 2010 and the president as we well remember, wanted it to be a done deal in 2009. bill: now a price tag, $940
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billion for the bill and democrats reacted to it and religioned to south carolina congressman james clyburn and he was optimistic, when the number came back and price tag on that have a listen here: >> we are absolutely giddy over the great news we've gotten from cbo about this health care reform bill. indicating that our bill will reduce the deficit in the first ten years by $130 billion. and the second ten years, by $1.2 trillion. that, to me, it great news for the american people. bill: you heard the phrase there, absolutely giddy. james clyburn's initial react to the price tag of $940 billion.
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what are the details contained in there, that is what we're trying to drill down on and in touch with our reporters on capitol hill and our policers, trolling the hallways up there and when we get more, we'll try and put it as as simple language as possible and get it to you in a matter of minutes here, from washington, d.c. martha: and, in the meantime, jarring new video from inside a city bus, right before it crashed into a train. the bus driver, ran a red light, look at that. goodness, what investigators say this tape shows about what happened. bill: and house democrats trying to reach the magic number, 216 to get health care passed, where are they now, a democrat who remains undecided and no doubt fooling a lot of heat across the town and back home will join us with his view, this morning. will he vote yes? we'll find out. imagine skin so healthy, it never gets dry again.
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martha: all right. we have those new numbers, folks
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they are just out, and they could determine the fate of health care overhaul in this country. a senior house democratic source telling fox news the new tally from the cbo, it is out, and they say according to their numbers it shows a savings of $130 billion in the first ten years and 1.2 trillion over the next ten years if, indeed, they can cut half a billion out of medicare which is a trick that's never happened before. the cost? $940 billion is the number of the day, bill. good morning to you, welcome to a brand new hour of "america's newsroom," live from the nation's capital today. good to have you with us. bill: those numbers officially released after the democratic caucus breaks up, and when that happens, the clock will officially be ticking on the 19th hour of the health care battle. if that's the case, we may get a
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vote in three days, so both sides getting ready for the next faceoff. house and senate republicans joining forces in a show of unity and a sign of rejection this morning as they headed into a rare joint closed door meeting. martha: looks like both sides preparing for battle as you see them storming through the halls of capitol hill. we have fox team coverage in this huge story that we have covered without fail over the course of the last year. major garrett is at the white house, steve centanni has more. major, we now have the cbo numbers which we've been waiting for for days. you saw james clyburn, he says this is a great number for democrats. >> reporter: the reason he says that is because as the house majority whip, the person responsible for collecting all the necessary 216 votes, he knows what fence-sitting moderate to conservative democrats have needed to see from these cbo numbers, and what
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they needed to see in all likelihood was a total number less than one trillion, $940 billion is certainly close, but that will probably make them more comfortable, also some verified cbo deficit reduction, and at least projections, though the cbo is always cautious about that second decade of any kind of deficit projections because as the office says, it's very difficult to predict with any accuracy 20 years out exactly what the deficit implications of any bill is going can to be, including one of this magnitude, size and scope. nevertheless, james clyburn has been talking hour by hour, day by day with all these members yet to commit. he probably is signaling he can get the sufficient 216 votes to prevail. i'm told that the likely process we're going to see play out in the next couple of days, martha, is this. on saturday the rules committee will put together the rule governing action on this bill.
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this afternoon probably around noon or 1:00, the house representatives, democratic side, will post on the internet that the cbo numbers are derived from, and then on sunday sometime probably noon, 1, 2 p.m. in the afternoon the house will have its climactic vote on the senate fix legislation, the senate bill and health care will take another legislative step forward if, if it passes. martha: all right. so, you know, cost has been a major consideration, of course, and as you say, this number gives a little bit of political cover. there was a lot of talk if the number was over a trillion dollars, it would make it that much trickier for the undecided votes out there. any other specific considerations that you see on the line for some of these undecided voters, major? >> reporter: absolutely. and mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, was not bringing this up just because it's a procedural interest to him and democrats generally. a moment agoen our air mitch
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mcconnell said house democrats should not rely on the senate to pass the senate fix legislation as is. i've talked to several house democrats who say, look, i need absolute rock solid, iron-binding legislation, legislative language or promises from the senate democrats that if we pass this on the house on sunday, it's going to pass in the senate. one house democrat described it to me as a blood oath. now, that's obviously not going to happen in any sort of what you might see in a movie, but there is still this house democratic concern. even those who don't need these cbo numbers who are committed to the legislation generally, they need assurances that whatever they pass is going to stick in the senate. that's very complicated and difficult, if not impossible, for senate democrats to give that kind of legislative political guarantee. that's still one of the things that's going to effect the outcome of this vote on sunday in the house of representatives. how democrats persuade them that
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they can, in fact, get the job done is going to be a drama playing out right alongside these cbo numbers and everything else. martha: quickly, major, mitch mcconnell made clear he was going to do whatever was in his power to make sure it didn't pass. they've got some stuff in their back pocket to try to throw a big road block in the way of this fix bill in the senate. >> reporter: that's right. and here's all our viewers need to know, martha, if that senate fix bill is changed one iota, it has to go back to the house, and this drama has to play out all over fen, and -- again, and house democrats have to confront another difficult bill. they want to know they'll never have to vote on this again, and that's going to be difficult to do. martha: boy, oh, poi, a lot of drama on the senate side in this coming days. major, thank you so much. we will be checking pack with
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you throughout the day. bill: so, then, we assume for the moment let's assume the bill is signed into law. as of now there are at least 35 states that have already brought action within their own state to challenge this bill in court. imagine that now. steve centanni joins us with that angle to the story. good morning. idaho made a major move yesterday afternoon, what is this all about? >> reporter: right, a states' rights movement against the health care reform bill gaining momentum now with dozens of states, as you mentioned, considering legislation or actually having passed legislation aimed at blocking the federal government from requiring individuals to buy health care insurance. and they're considering lawsuits as well. now, virginia's attorney general is looking at just such legal action, and part of it would be a challenge to the so-called deem and pass procedure that house speaker nancy pelosi may use to pass the health care bill without members voting directly on the legislation. they would instead vote on the
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rule to allow the move. in a letter to pelosi, c, ccinelli says such a course of action would raise grave constitutional action. one of the purposes of which is to make our representatives fully accountable for their votes, and he says if such a procedure is used, it would expose any bill passed that way to further legal challenges. bill? bill: and also there are different states that are taking a different legal approach to this. they're arguing against the mandate contained in the bill that says you can't force somebody to buy insurance. that's taking place in other parts of the country. what other states are considering action that we know of, steve? >> reporter: right. quite a few states considering action including idaho where the governor is the first to actually sign a law requiring his attorney general to sue the federal government if congress passes health care reform. and arizona governor janice
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brewer has written a letter to nancy pelosi saying the government has never required people to buy any good or service and that such a requirement would be an intrusion of the government on the rights of the individual. missouri and south carolina, two other states also considering action. now, whether such challenges would stand up in federal court remains to be seen if the bill passes, but some states certainly ready to give it a shot, bill. bill: isn't it interesting over the past 24 hours here in washington democrats and republicans all over this city arguing this very thing and trying to figure out whether or not a court could intercede. even if it's signed into law. steve, thank you for that. that could be the next wrinkle. steve centanni with us here in d.c. we want to know how you think congress is handling health care reform. head to, click on the you decide link. while you're there you can see what other viewers are seeing and thinking.
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we asked this question, what did the founding fathers want? vote at martha: are you among those who are still wondering what happened with that runaway prius story? well, there's a new report that does sort of nothing to clarify exactly what happened in that incident. a seven-page report from the california highway patrol. an officer responds to james sikes' 911 call. he says he arrived to find a border patrol agent already on the scene. sikes claims his gas pedal got stuck and sent him flying 90 miles an hour down the highway. toyota says that could not have happened. bill: also we are learning think and disturbing details about the convicted sex offender charged with murdering a california teenager. state corrections records showing john gardner lived within 126 yards of a preschool for 16 months before he was
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forced to move out, officials blaming it in part on confusion following a change in parol agents. accused of murdering high school junior chelsea king. martha: and a deadly rocket attack aimed at israel from the gaza strip today. it's the first since the end of the israeli gaza offensive more than a year ago. a thai farm worker was killed, the attack in response to israel's recent claims on disputed holy sites in the west bank. frequent rocket attacks launched from gaza helped to spark the three week war last year that killed thousands of palestinians and 13 israelis. bill: all right. in a moment we're also tracking this, the $940 billion price tag is now out on health care. do democrats, though, have the votes to get the overhaul
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through the house? we will talk with one democratic congressman who still has not decided how he will vote. he's up in a moment. martha: and check out what 700 million, 700 million of your tax dollars looks like. take a look because congress is now considering tearing down the entire project. that would be a big waste of money. we're going to tell you what it is and why you paid for it. bill: and check out this video. whoa! that is a school bus that collided with a train. the aftermath in minutes. [ music playing, indistinct conversations ] the charcoal went out already? [ sighs ] forget it. [ male announcer ] there's more barbeque time in every bag of kingsford charcoal. kingsford. slow down and grill. one reason? lubriderm® contains the same nutrients naturally found in healthy skin. skin absorbs it for a clinically shown 24 hours. for skin that looks and feels truly comfortable.
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bill: dramatic new videotape inside of a houston metro bus crash yesterday. here is the driver slamming that bus into a metro light rail train. that windshield shatters. here are the kids in the back being tossed about from their seats. police say the driver ran a red light. wow. nineteen injured, that accident
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was the second time a train and a bus collided in just over a month at the same intersection. again, 19 injured in the back of that bus including the driver. >> there will be some tax revenues that we have in this bill. principle my we think to make things a little fairer within the medicare system so that everyone is paying their share of medicare fees, and so, therefore, we will see an increase in medicare revenues that come in through this legislation. but what we believe is most important is americans always say, go after some of the fraud and waste in medicare. that's exactly what we do. we go, we attack a lot of the waste, the fraud, the abuse you saw on programs like "60 minutes" that short change american seniors of their health care, and that's where we're
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going to get a lot of their savings. martha: talking about the health care push, and as of about 15 minutes ago we got the price tag this morning, now, for this overhaul. this is of the very latest, the president's version of what it would cost, $940 billion over the next ten years. now, you remember the magic number, of course, we've talked about it every day is 216 to get this bill through the house. now, by our count right now we see 212 yes votes out there right now, 219 no votes. so very significant to this process because you're four votes away from a yes would be ohio democrat john bow cherry. he has yet to decide how he is going to vote on this, and he joins u now. sir, good morning to you, it is good to have you with us. >> how are you, martha? thanks for having me. martha: a lot of pressure on you, we had dennis kucinich yesterday said my yes vote should make it a lot easier for
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folks on the fence to also say yes. where do you stand this morning now that you've seen the cbo number? >> well, they're a key component of our decision-making process, but we're still waiting for the actual reconciliation bill to be reduced. ohio is not going to pay for a nebraska deal. we have great need in our own state, and i want that out of this before we even consider looking at additional language. martha: so were you surprised last night to hear the president say that, you know, he wasn't sure which of those deals would be in and which would be out and it doesn't really matter, we need to take the whole picture into account? >> well, it's important that we understand there is great need in our state, and i don't care what method or parliamentary procedure we use, that deal needs to be out. when we talk about reforming the system, we want to do it in a way that doesn't explode the deficits, that goes after that fraud, waste and abuse. the cbo numbers that just came out today said that the deficit would be reduced by $138 billion
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in the first ten years and $1.2 trillion in the second year. i mean, that's a significant savings for a system where we spend $2 and a half trillion every year on just the delivery of health care. martha: you know, the president has suggested over the past week or so that this is bigger than just this bill, that this is about the success of his presidency, and he made an appeal to the hispanic caucus basically saying just that according to the reports that came out of that meeting, you need to pass this for my presidency. is that persuasive to you? >> no. i'm less worried about my job and the president's job, i'm more worried about making the right decision for america and the constituency in ohio that i represent. you know, i have heard so many stories in this job of folks who are losing their health care insurance. our nation needs to have this debate, and we need to have a robust debate on how weaver going to -- we're going to reform the system, ending the
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abusive practices of being be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, that falls scary on -- squarely on the thousands of americans i represent in ohio. martha: i spoke t at an event right here, and many of them suggested to me there will be quite a few deals that are made in order to get these votes. are you telling me if the you see any of that, you won't vote for it, or are you telling me ohio has to get the same package everyone else getsesome. >> what we're talking about, martha, is leveling the the playing field. there's no one state that should have a special privilege in terms of the delivery of health care. ohio has great need. we've had a lot of job losses, a lot of folks are sitting in my district without health care insurance, and we've got to find a way to reduce the deficit. we need to have this debate. i didn't support the first version of reform that came out of the house because it didn't do some of those things that i talked about, reducing the
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deficit as much and robustly. i'm encouraged by the improved numbers and hope that we can continue this debate through the weekend. martha: are you getting a lot of pressure? has nancy pelosi called you, have people put pressure on you about this? >> the most pressure i'm receiving is from back home. this affects everyone, and i'm used to pressure. i flew c-130s out of baghdad. martha: good for you. thank you for your service and your continuing service to this country. good luck in making your decision, thank you for speaking with us. bill: you remember the virtual fence proposed along the southern border, hundreds of millions already spent so so fa. now some in congress may go in a whole different direction, and you wonder why today. martha: brand new to us, 911 calls made by the mother of actor corey haim on the day he died, her frantic efforts to save her son's life. >> he's not breathing!
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>> ma'am, are you with him right now? >> yes. >> how old is he? >> he's 38 years old, i don't know what's going on. he had a fever this morning. >> okay, ma'am, is he awake right now? >> no! it was that day at the airport.
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martha: all right. we have newly-released 911 calls, very sad, made by the mother of actor corey haim. he's, of course, the '80s teen star who died last week. now, on this tape you can hear a very upset judy haim. she's telling the dispatcher she found her son unconscious in his apartment. >> is he awake right now? >> no! >> i want you to kneel down next to his head.
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martha: that is just so sad. police in los angeles say that haim's death appears to be an accident overdose, and is tate's attorney -- state's attorney general is investigating a possible connection between a prescription drug ring and haim's death. haim 38 years old. bill: so you wonder how can $800 million in taxpayer money just go right down the chute? that's what some lawmakers want to now as a house committee investigates a virtual fence along the u.s./mexican border.
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and now congress is considering scrapping the whole thing altogether. william la jeunesse is live on this, what gives here? good morning. >> reporter: bill, homeland security and boeing officials right now are getting raked over the coals on the hill. republicans and democrats alike want their pound of flesh after watching $800 million taxpayer dollars wash down the drain. the so-called virtual fence, that is a string of towers containing cameras and also sensors and radars along the 2,000-mile u.s./mexican border that are supposed to give agents a realtime picture of what's happening. boeing promised that this automated system could identify and track 95% of all the illegals crossing the border. after four years the virtual fence has produced virtually nothing. not only doesn't it work, they don't know when it will or when it ever will. democrats are inclined to kill
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the project now, some republicans actually agree, but they want to know what's the alternative? no one wants to put more good money after bad, bill, but if not this, what? bill: yeah, what? yeah. what does the new report say specifically? what does the department of hemland security -- homeland security plan to do at this point? >> reporter: well, a gao report came out this morning, it is scathing. it found over 1300 tefects in the -- defects in the system. they also said that there's no indication right now of when these things will be fixed. they said that some of the tests were actually rigged so boeing could pass them, so secretary napolitano, she has frozen funding of this thing pending a review. she also took 50 million there the program, that's why some believe that this thing is already dead unless this dhs report is somehow extremely positive, and many believe it will not be. bill? bill: sooner or later it's real
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money, and it's real security. william, thank you. william la jeunesse who's been up and down that border many, many times. thank you. martha: we know where republicans and democrats stand on the health care fight, but what about americans? brand new numbers about what people in this country are saying, and we're going to show you the brand new take on these numbers, they will surprise you when you see these. finish
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>> the bill for the american people, and the news from cbo, indicate that what we are doing, will be great for the american people. >> it is clear that democrat leaders here in congress and the president are not listening to the american people. if the american people are saying, stop, and they are screaming, at the top of their lungs. bill: duelling reaction already this morning, democratic and republican leaders moment ago on the hill, weighing in on the congressional budget office's cost estimate, the price now attached to the current health care bill. and, came in at $940 billion. so you are under a trillion if that makes you happy. those are not the only new numbers out today. there is a tally of how americans feel about the health care plan, and the debate taking place in washington. one look from rasmussen report, overall, the number show 45% support it, a majority 52% are against it. and, look at the big number, the number of people who say they
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strongly oppose the bill, and that is at 45%, of respondents, and scott rasmussen with us, president of and you have been analyzing it. >> the president boosted support for the plan a little bit over the last couple of weeks, now support in the mid 40s and before in the low 40s and consistent, democrats overwhelmingly want to see it passed and republicans and unaffiliated voters are opposed. bill: how do you sense the level of interest, in your polling, are they dialed in on what is happening in washington to stop it. >> this is a big topic and people are focused on it, voters looking at it as a very significant vote. and you pointed out this big number, 45% strongly oppose, consistent throughout the last several months and the president has not been able to dial that number down in any way, shape or
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form. bill: the reason i ask that, is because you asked, and we can go back to it, guys, you asked americans, whether they'd be more or less likely to vote for the congressman based on have you their vote goes here. >> right. bill: and you found that 50% would be less likely to vote for his or her representative. and they are thinking about numbers like these on the hill, here, when they debate this. >> that's right and there are two key things to this. independent voters, not affiliated with either major party, 52% are less likely to vote for one who would support the bill. and only a third of independents are going to be more likely to vote for a congressman who does this, also, we asked questions about the do you support or oppose single payor coverage and people who like single payor coverage overwhelmingly want to support someone who will vote for the bill but if you oppose single payor coverage you are far less likely to support a congressman who votes for the bill. bill: we're waiting for democratic leadership this afternoon, and in all likelihood, nancy pelosi will speak at some point and you asked about her favorable,
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unfavorable and at the moment, he's at 64% unfavorable. and, about the republican -- and john boehner at 41% unfavorable and does it tell you much, scott? >> not really, what it tells me that is speaker pelosi is better known, what we see, any time somebody assumes a leadership in congress their unfavorables will go up and a lot of skepticism about government in general and you talked about cbo numbers, 81% say, you know what? it will cost more than projection, and people don't believe the projection coming in. bill: the projection earlier today, 20 years out, will save 2.2 trillion dollars. trillion dollars, in savings, they are saying and one more thing, the next step in the story, might be a legal challenge. you asked, should individual states have a right to opt out of the plan? 50% say yes. >> that number has been creeping up, a little bit, in the last couple of months, so, a lot of support, and, again, it mirrors support for the plan, people who
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oppose it want to do anything they can to stop it and people who like the plan want to do anything they can to pass it. bill: brand new numbers, scott rasmussen, sharing in "america's newsroom," here's martha, now with more. martha: well, here in d.c. we are glad to be joined by brit hume, the senior political analyst of course for fox news. brit, you look a those numbers and the president has not been able to move the needle all that much with all of the speeches and all of the push out the past few months. >> i have never seen anything like this in my life, martha and have been covering news in the town 41 year and never saw a measure so favored by a president, pressed upon the public with such intensity for so long with such negative results. the public really doesn't want this bill. and i have never seen leaders in congress, try to get members in an election year where their party is already in trouble to vote for something that is so strongly resisted by the public, and, it is... there is no question in my mind, that if
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this bill passes, and there is a gathering sense now, in washington, that it will, although nobody knows for sure, if this bill passes, the resistance to it will not be over. it will not be done. and we will not move on to the next thing, we'll be fighting over this, in washington, for a long time to come. and, the number that you cited with scott rasmussen of about, the public's attitude towards lawsuits to try and up-end it are -- >> 50% said they would be fine with that and it raises a simple question, brit, why? when you see people bending over backwards and doing hand stands in procedural ways to get it passed, you wonder if they have moments where they have -- ask themselves, is it worth it? why? >> what i say about that is the: when the democrats achieve with obama's election these extraordinary majorities in both houses, majorities of the size, no party has had for a long time indeed, and there was a sense a window was opened to do big thing, and the window was only
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going to last a couple of years, because even without a deep recession, without the rest of it, the part in power in the white house usually loses seats, in some number in an off-year election and they had the perishable majority and a large one indeed and the belief was the long-held dream of completely revamping the health insurance system and health care system, would never be achieved if not during this two-year period. and that i think explains it, and it is something the democrats have yearned for, for a very long time indeed. it is this kind of big achievement that this president, who sees himself as a transformational figure, would be ainterestedttracted to, know knowledge of the details of the e plan, sometimes in bret baier's interview seemed a little thin, that is what they are thinking and there is a feeling among democrats they'll lose the seats and might as well have something to show for it an explains that he situation we're in. they believe deeply in this. the public hates... they are going for it anyway.
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martha: it is astonishing when you look at it that way, as karl rove said earlier this morning it has gone beyond the substance and that is why you are not hearing discussion anymore about this substance, because it is now about -- that in president made a personal appeal to a number of groups, this is about him, about doing something positive for, you know, one for the gipper, i guess you could say. >> well, that is an argument that will have some weight with members of a party, if their president turns to them and says, look if i don't get this, my presidency will be diminished forever. perhaps deemed a failure. if you vote against him on that base, you have to take a -- think long and hard about doing that and they are down to, what, a handful of votes and need to turn 3 or 4 votes, by most cards. martha: you think they will? >> you know, we thought it before. they've been within a few votes before, it seemed, and they managed to squeak it through both houses. but, look where we are.
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i mean, if they had the votes before we would have passed it a long time ago. there is at least a possibility it will fail, but, you know, the cbo number that came out today doesn't change anything, i mean, that boys where they were on the cost estimate before and were tinkering with the reconciliation package. martha: and had to come in under a trillion dollars. >> and in order to believe that you have to believe a lot of things that are hard to believe, like, they will do a half trillion dollars in medicare cuts, something we have never seen before. martha: not even close no no. no. and if you did that, the senior citizens of this country, would be, you know, would be a morning on washington. martha: why, carve out for florida and places like that. brit, thank you, interesting times. >> you guys are doing great. bill: in a moment a overhaul proposal, nothing to do with health care. why some say it would put the u.s. three steps backwards. we're on that, today, and, this is not your average car chase, not by a long shot, folks. this is not your average driver, behind the wheel. in a minute.
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take the step today and ask your doctor... ...whether seroquel xr is... ...right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. >> i'm jon scott, i'll see you lang with jane skinner in 15 minutes on "happening now" the health care thing is covered as it inches closer to some kind of action in the house of representatives. we'll talk with congressman chris van hollen who is urges his members not en gain in a circular firing and aed and the missing woman in the northwest, is there new evidence of what happened to her and her son? and, the dog who had to be rescued from an ice floe, twice, ahead on "happening now." martha: all right, not health care this time but another democratic overhaul and it is stirring quite a bit of controversy, in the halls behind us here, senator chris dodd
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introducing a new bill to completely alter a lot about the u.s. financial system. dodd says the democratic bill contains bipartisan ideas, listen to this: >> legislation i present today contains bipartisan ideas. and is the result, as i mentioned earlier of a bipartisan effort but does not enjoy bipartisan support. but we need to act and i will act. every day we delay is a delay we are unprepared for what is around the corner. a day when americans, who have lost so much, continue to lose confidence in our economic system. martha: the u.s. chamber of commerce is not happy about this. it is launching a $3 million ad campaign against this bill. saying it would take america three steps backwards, the bill, david hirshman is the president and ceo of the u.s. chamber center for capital markets competitiveness, good to have you with us, this morning, david, what don't you luike abot the dodd bill.
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>> we need financial reform but senator dodd is the quarterback who has taken this ball back 30 yards in hopes of moving it down the field and there is a lot of work on the bipartisan basis over the last few months and now we are backwards to a partisan approach and we think the answer is to roll up our sleeves and achieve financial regulatory reform but not by adding to bureaucracy and we have a regulatory structure -- >> the regulation out there, make them work and fine-tune them and make them work better, don't create new agencies. >> look at the current structure, too many layers and gaps and leg dmraerregulators w understand the markets they are regulating and the answer is not to put new players on top of a broken system but fundamentally fix the system. martha: originally it was senator dodd and senator corker, republican working together and senator dodd said we don't have bipartisan support and what happened to their partnership? >> ultimately, this will get to the president's desk and is the right bill and it will take 70 votes and will take senator corker and shelby.
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martha: what is corker unhappy about, he won't negotiate with him anymore. >> for example one of the issues we have the greatest concern is standing up the large bureaucracy to protect consumers and we understand and believe consumers do need to be protected but you can do that without setting up a massive agency, nearly half a billion dollars in budget in the first year with and all-powerful director, that cannot be removed by anybody, doesn't report to the federal reserve chairman or congress, an unchecked power, sweeping budget, sweeping ability to regulate people that had nothing do with the financial crisis. and, average businesses, that are trying to make ends meet are concerned about getting cash. martha: you feel they'll be hurt and they need access to that and what i want to be sure is not forgotten in the is the government role in the financial crisis and we hear of the banking role and some of the indiscretions, nearly, on that side and is anything being done to address the fannie mae and freddie mac, the kind of issues that also were hugely involved in what happened?
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>> not yet, and that is why we think a band-aid approach to the problem is not the answer, 7 year-- 75 years since we fixed things, since the last crisis and it is better to get it right, rather than ramming it through. martha: you fix the one from before and you don't see the one coming done the pipe loon and there are no regulations for that one. >> and guys, who are hurt, trying to get the cash to keep the doors open. bill: 12 minutes before the hour, waiting for democrats to make the next move in health care reform, you'll find out as we do, at the top of the hour, here in washington. and we'll take you to a town transformed by fear. phil keating is live in acreage, florida. >> reporter: this is a part of west palm beach, palm beach county, florida where there are a lot of people not relying on drinking the water, that comes out of their sink anymore. this is and area, that, within nine square miles, nine girls
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and five boys, have now succumbed to brain cancer. the state department of health is investigating, and the centers for disease control, also, investigating. but, they -- the big unknown question is why. the story is coming up. [ music playing, indistinct conversations ] the charcoal went out already? [ sighs ] forget it. [ male announcer ] there's more barbeque time in every bag of kingsford charcoal.
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martha: here's the latest on jihad jane, you heard earlier today she admitted when he was taken into custody, she's in the middle of the shot that she involved in a plot to kill a cartoonist who she believed was blasphemous towards the muslim faith and she has pleaded not guilty, to four counts of terrorism and terror plot charges and he was wearing prison garb, you can see and they point out that she had corn rows in her hair and no veil or head covering as we have seen in
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prior pictures of her and colleen larose pleads not guilty to four counts of terrorism, that trial, set for may the third. bill: now we go to the small town in floridaer where people are alone -- florida where people aabandoning their home after a dozen residents developed brain cancer and officials call it a cancer cluster and the question remains, why. phil keating is live, and is there any connection between the cases down there, phil? >> reporter: hi, bill there, are a new connections, number one all cases involve some sort of a brain cancer and all the cases impacted kids and pediatric cases and all the kids identified in the cluster lived in this area known as the acreage, an area in western palm beach county, florida and has 40,000 people living in it and look at the map, you can see, that of the 13 cases that have now been identified, by florida department of health, 13 cases
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of brain cancer, with kids, all of these kids lived within an area of about 9 square miles. most of them are girls, 13, and four of them are boys including ten-year-old john craig who first developed a brain tumor and then died, and not long after that, another one of the victims, who died, was joey, who developed his brain cancer at 16 years old and died at this age of 20. and once word started spreading amongst the acreage and parents started voicing concerns maybe these were not just isolated cases, just by a roll of the dice and maybe bad genetics they urged the county to get involved and the state department of health launched an investigation and the centers for disease control is looking into it and all of the testing now is currently ongoing and should be due april 1st. bill: wow. certain there is a lot of concern down there and looking for answers, too, we'll check back in as it develops, phil
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keating, thank you, live in the acreage in florida. martha? >> could it be, could we have come down to the final days of the health care reform battle at least in this step? 72 hours is when the clock starts ticking and we believe the 72 hours will start fairly soon and the health care reform bill in its current form, so that the president and everybody else, can get a close look, at what is in the bill, is going to be released, very soon, our senior white house correspondent, on all of this will join us in just a few minutes from now. special for lunch. how about a coastal soup and grilled shrimp salad combination? or maybe our new savory shrimp jambalaya. seafood lunches starting at just $6.99 at red lobster. you need listerine® whitening® vibrant white™ rins. the mouthwash that gets teeth four times whiter than the leading toothpaste. and kills bad breath germs. listerine® whitening vibrant white™.
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>> watch this part, this almost looks like he scooted over to get out of his car. doesn't he get out a little too quickly? on the side of the road because
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we're talking about australia. he narrowly missed hitting a police officer. the chase ended when the suspect rammed a police cruiser and rolled his truck. believe it or not, that was the third hijacked ride. bill: they've got nothing on l.a., do they? i mean, still. [laughter] so why are we here many washington? we came for this right here. martha: yeah, we did. bill: vice president joe biden getting some laughs last night at the annual correspondents' dinner. the one-liners, a few hits, a few misses. you can judge. >> i know this is all supposed to be humorous as i'm trying to be, but i do have to defend our administration a little bit here, especially the recovery act which i've been put in charge of. republicans keep saying it hasn't created a single job. well, tell that to senator scott brown. [laughter] martha: i guess you could say it created his job, right? it was a tough crowd, but --


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